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The Brief: July 21, 2014

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will make a border security announcement at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol. The two are expected to announce the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley.

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.

The Big Conversation

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will make a border security announcement at 2 p.m. at the Texas state Capitol. Per a report from the McAllen Monitor, the men are expected to announce the deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley.

The Monitor's Jacob Fischler wrote, "An internal memo from another state official’s office said the governor planned to call about 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley — at a cost of about $12 million per month. The memo was provided to The Monitor on the condition of anonymity because the information is not yet public."

Ahead of the announcement, critics of the move are calling the move "political gamesmanship." U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro told the Tribune on Sunday night via text, "We should be sending the Red Cross to the border, not the National Guard. These children are not trying to evade border patrol and there's no reason to confront them with soldiers."

The Washington Post, meanwhile, reported that the Obama administration did little to prepare for the massive influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America despite ample warnings. The paper notes that one of those warnings came in the form of a report prepared at the University of Texas at El Paso.

"Federal officials viewed the situation as a 'local problem,' said Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief who led the UTEP study. The research, conducted last year, was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and published in March. A broader crisis was 'not on anyone’s radar,' Manjarrez added, even though 'it was pretty clear this number of kids was going to be the new baseline.'”

The New York Times reported that word of increased difficulty in crossing the border might be getting back to those Central American nations.

"It is too soon to say definitively whether the mass migration has relented, but officials are hopeful that it may be slowing as new efforts by the authorities to stop the flow take root and as word spreads about the perils of the journey to the United States, where migrants are unlikely to find legal refuge. ... many of the potential migrants, who would take a succession of buses and trains north, said recently that they had heard the chances of making it to the United States were decreasing. Last week, the Border Patrol station in McAllen, Tex., reported decreasing numbers of people in detention. About 500 migrants were being held last week, compared with double that number most days in June."

Trib Must-Reads

Lawmakers Push to Consolidate Women's Health Programs, by Alexa Ura and Becca Aaronson

Texas Cities Pushing Back on Border Surge, by Terri Langford and Gilad Edelman

Sheriffs Weigh Selling E-Cigarettes to Inmates, by Edgar Walters


Wave of opposition builds against immigrant children, Houston Chronicle

Debate begins as hundreds of immigrant minors head to Karnes, San Antonio Express-News

Advocates cite drownings in calls for help with CPS case loads, Houston Chronicle

Planned Parenthood aiming to spend $3 million on Texas elections in 2014, San Antonio Express-News

Austin business lobby plays it safe in Greg Abbott-Wendy Davis race, Austin American-Statesman

2014: A costly election year, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Rick Perry, Version 2.0, The Weekly Standard

Quote to Note

“I did forecast an increase that was substantially less than that. It's good to be wrong.”

Jim Benson, one of those in charge in managing lands, mostly in West Texas, on behalf of the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, on greater than expected revenue from oil and gas. Royalties could fall between $1.1 billion and $1.5 billion for the current fiscal year.

Today in TribTalk

A redistricting case about more than redistricting, by Michael Li

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Energy Environment Health care Politics David Dewhurst Greg Abbott Joaquin Castro Rick Perry Wendy Davis